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Dinesy

kit

Hi

I know some of the kit can be produced in house, but is there a list of other items needed and preferred suppliers. I don't want to get a bit of kit that even if it looks great is different from everyone else's ( or god forbid no bloody use at all).

Also any info about tents would be good. As I will be dragging the family along ( actually they want to come) and scrounging a place in tents for three of us might be hard I thought I would try to find one asap. I saw a couple of second hand ones online but same as the kit I don't want to buy something that's no use as it looks wrong is to big etc etc.

I have sent my shotgun license application off so hopefully that will be straight forward.

Cheers
Paul ( yes another one) q4
Matelot81

Shoes

Tent

Easy Smilie_PDT

Tent if there is three of you a bell tent, can pick them up on ebay for about £300-400

Boots are a matter of preference and cost, can get American civil wore brogues for £40, but longevity who knows


Andy Burke makes excellent boots but is top end but will last years
Myself I went with Kevin Garlick, had mine four years and still going strong and cost about £100

If you're after a rifle as mentioned by Paul D, Armae in France do a wallhanger complete with sword for about £400 then another £70 to drill and proof.Got my first one from them and it's still on nice nick being used by Tim

Everything else is in house, I'd recommend getting a good sized Wooden case for all your kit, yet again fleabay for anything from £5-£100 but Simon I'm sure could do you a gorgeous bespoke one,as he's dead clever

Enjoy the feeling of a rapidly emptying wallet but by god is it worth it!

Eric
Dinesy

I have been looking at tents. Is there any normal size? I found a place that has some second hand ridge tents ( they sold the bell tents they had) and they are about the same size as the bell tents they had. Looking at the size I would say there is plenty of room for three ( 14 x14x 7)
Matelot81

Fair size tent,most of the guys with family have a Bell tent so not sure on the large A frames,
I'd be more tempted with a bell as lot more room inside for people and kit and with winter coming should be a few pop up on ebay
Dinesy

Cheers for the replies

Yes I think a bell tent is the way to go, also they look pretty good. Im going to keep an eye on ebay over the winter. I also found a place that advertises new ones that I thought were a reasonable price. Anyone seen one? unfortunately they are out of stock until march next year.
http://www.canvastentshop.co.uk/p...tents/4m-bushcraft-bell-tent.aspx

cheers
Paul
John Waller

The trouble with most bell tents in use in the napoleonic scene is that they are the wrong design. The high-walled lace-up types only come in during the late victorian period. In our period the walls were very short, around 9"' and the cone of the tents was usually capped in red canvas or leather, sometimes with a red dolly. Little evidence of dutch lacing either. Do some research, look at period mages, and reach an informed decision. There are a couple of makers,  like Vic James,  who do make a reasonable napoleonic bell tent but expect to pay more than from Canvas Tent Shop or Abbey Tents.
Hagman's roadie

Hi Paul,
As has already been said getting good boots is a must and also a couple of shirts. I don't think we supply those or at least they aren't made in house.
A black cotton neck cloth also wouldn't go amiss. When not at arms one would wear the neck cloth in place of the leather stock.

As far as tents go although John is entirely correct regarding the bell tent design I wouldn't worry too much about spending way more than you bargained for to obtain a period correct bell. The reason I say this is the camping arrangement we have as a whole (and that includes the majority of the NA) is somewhat of a farb anyway.
The use of A frames, the myriad of differing sizes of A frames and bells, the layout etc is all a little bit of a hotch potch. If you did buy a period correct bell tent you would be in the minority.
It's great to try to maintain some semblance of accuracy in the camp set up but we know that's just not possible. By all means do get a period bell tent, show the others how it's done but don't feel obliged to if it's cost prohibitive.

Peripheral items such as eating and drinking implements are essential.
A mess tin and cover (ask Paul Durrant).
A tin plate, tin cup and a spoon of some description whether it be a small wooden one or a metal one of the period.
(The family can use anything that looks period in style. Usually wooden bowels and plates but basically nothing enamelled or of modern construction)

A turn screw (small wooden handled screw driver)

A pricker and brush

Gun cleaning kit. A good quality one as nobody likes losing half the cleaning rod down their barrel (do they Eric lol)


A soldiers wooden kit box is a total farb but many of us have them as it keeps all the gear neatly in one place both at home and at events.
I hope to be knocking a few of these out over the winter period so stay tuned for some pics and details.

The list could go on but I think the essentials for you as a rifleman have been covered.
Cheers
Simon
John Waller

Hagman's roadie wrote:
A mess tin and cover


Sorry for the digression, but is there any evidence for mess tin covers? I confess to having made one myself based on later extant covers but I can find no evidence at all for their use, issue, purchase or manufacture in the period. Most coloured illustrations seem to show mess tins in 'the white' without covers. Are they a re-enactorism?
Ben Townsend

Hi John, in a word, no. The only evidence is the colouration on some prints, which is very sketchy indeed. We came down on the side that they probably weren't issued, but by then we all already had them, and they are practical. In defence, there is evidence immediately post period,

WO3/162,  484
1817, an update to the warrant for necessaries 1812, adding,
1 shirt, 1 buttonstick and brush, 1 mess-tin and cover, 1 knife fork and spoon and case, 1 clothes brush.
Eddie

John - you mentioned mess tin covers before  - I would agree there are only a couple of images which seem to show them but as Ben says that might be just colouration by the artist .
The only thing that I would say is how do they attach to a knapsack without a cover ? - there would have to be a flange to pass a strap through. The circular dish type perhaps had handles each side that could be used for that  - I am thinking of the Guards in greatcoat Hamilton Smith print - but the D shape? ?
Kris

I've started getting myself sorted too - boots will shortly be ordered, shotgun licence application is in (and I've had my home visit already) and I've swung a starter amount over to Dave so he can get started on uniform. I'm looking forward to having my own kit for next time!
Hagman's roadie

I'm pretty sure there will be a reenactors market or two coming up soon so keep your eyes peeled for a mention as they are a good place to get the nik naks
The original reenactors market (TORM) is usually in Coventry and then there is the living history fair.
I'm sure one or two of use will be popping along.
Ben Townsend

What IS mentioned in period, and also turned up in Sweden, mess KETTLE covers.

Anyway, sorry to derail the thread. Tents- the bell tent is preferable to the ridge for purposes of historical accuracy, even in one of its bastard forms. Just don't get one of the glamping models with windows and porch. Scout bell tents used to be about £350.
Eddie

Kris wrote:
I've started getting myself sorted too - boots will shortly be ordered, shotgun licence application is in (and I've had my home visit already) and I've swung a starter amount over to Dave so he can get started on uniform. I'm looking forward to having my own kit for next time!


Kris - I will need your measured head size for a regimental cap.
Kris

Eddie - will drop you an email.
Kris

Could anyone point me towards a decent supplier for shirts?
Ben Townsend

Is Amanda Blake making shirts at present? She is a member and will do a good job.
Otherwise, try one of these for a cheap starter shirt,

http://www.re-enactmentsupplies.c...roduct/product&product_id=192

http://www.sutlers.co.uk/acatalog/Napciv.html#a2534

http://www.medieval-weaponry.co.uk/acatalog/Napoleonic-Shirt.html

http://www.sallygreen.co.uk/sg-19.php

You don't need the frills. Take linen over cotton if there is an option. Flannel is good for the winter but will destroy you in the summer.

For a more expensive option, look here,
http://www.darcyclothing.com/shop/
Kris

Thanks Ben, scratch 1 more item from the list...  q15
Ben Townsend

Ultimately, if you sweat like most of us, you'll want two, so one can dry while the other's on your back.
Kris

Yep, ordered one for now to try for size etc, will order another one over the winter!

There's so much to get when you're starting from scratch, but it feels good to have made a start on getting bits together.
Dinesy

Yes it does feel good to start to get a few bits of kit on order. I sent my order away for my boots today, so hopefully in a months time when I return from working away they might have turned up.

On the subject of kit boxes, I was in my workshop earlier and realised I have a few old wooden boxes that I have stored stuff in for years that would be perfect for the job. I had a move around so now have a project to revamp them a bit. I know its not really period to have boxes, but as everyone else has them im ok with that ( have to stash the modern stuff out of sign somewhere safe), but is there a particular colour etc that they get painted? I have to sort out three for myself and family so two will probably need to be painted, but my wife wants me to varnish hers.
I was thinking of painting them a blue/grey?

q4
Ben Townsend

The majority of these boxes end up painted blue-gray to simulate ordnance boxes. As to why every rifleman would have a box of ammo or whatever in his tent- who knows? But its a good neutral colour.

Ben (Who painted his tentpoles and finial and anything else that didn't move quick enough blue-gray).


See also this interesting article on soldiers' boxes by Bob Henderson,

http://www.warof1812.ca/boxes.htm
Kris

Boots

My boots arrived from Andy Burke today - my first piece of kit! They're awesome too, well worth the money I reckon.
Paul Durrant

Dinesy wrote:
On the subject of kit boxes...


That handy thing about a box/chest is that if you can store important stuff then you know it's always ready to just load into the car, etc.

As it'll be in your tent, I wouldn't worry about colour. On campaign, the common soldier wouldn't have one.
Kris

Anyone got an tips on how to treat the boots before wearing them?
khazzard2000

I use this on all my leather work to keep it in good, supple condition - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fiebings-...er-Conditioner-400g/dp/B001P45RAS - fantastic stuff.
Kris

Thanks! Presumably I'll need to use black polish as well, although the natural grey colour they arrived in charming, they're clearly not regulation as is! 😉
Hagman's roadie

Kris wrote:
Thanks! Presumably I'll need to use black polish as well, although the natural grey colour they arrived in charming, they're clearly not regulation as is! 😉


Might be worth talking to Mr Durrant about some black ball.
Paul Durrant

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GOLD-LA...&var=&hash=item2ec70da4d3
Kris

Thanks guys, I must seem really dense asking these questions, but I have no idea how to treat boots like this and, given they're the most expensive shoes I've ever owned, I want to get it right!
Paul Durrant

I've never used modern polish on mine. I merely smother them in this Dubbin after each event. Been good since 2007. Most comfortable shoes I've ever had I think.

I have made period style ball-black which I use for leather accoutrements but don't know if anyone has used it properly on shoes?.
Kris

Cheers Paul, one tub of the black dubbin ordered!
Mercian Pete

My boots are from Andy Burke too and they are extremely comfortable. He supplied me with some black ball when I bought them and I did use it on the boots in the way he instructed me to.

Warm the black ball till slightly soft (just a couple of seconds literally in the microwave - do not liquidise it) and then rub it onto the leather. Afterwards using a cloth and "little magic circles' to create a smooth surface on the rough leather upper. Warning - it's messy.

Over the course of the 2014 season the boots have been subjected to all sorts of conditions and have had a couple of reply good soakings. The black ball foundation has stayed firmly adhered to the leather although I have supplemented it with dubbing and, because the black ball does give a finish very close to modern boot polish, I have also lashed large amounts of Kiwi on top after each event too. I note that there are contemporary accounts of officers saying that there was no excuse for soldiers not to have a good shine on their shoes. The finish is not "bulled" but the black ball has definitely covered the raised/rough leather and provided a smooth finish on parts of the boot such as the toe "cap" and heels. In other areas of greater flex - its cracks, but when you brush it again with a bit of polish it seems to "repair" itself and fill in the gaps again. Amazing stuff.
Paul Durrant

Good stuff. I believe cavalry boots were made flesh side out (jacked?) so that the ball-black would adhere to it, hence jack boots (no source). Modern polishes are petroleum based I believe, whilst ball black is basically animal fat and beeswax. Additions of sugar or gum arabic appear in some instructions and I'm guessing this was to try and create a shine. Talking of which...
Mercian Pete wrote:
I note that there are contemporary accounts of officers saying that there was no excuse for soldiers not to have a good shine on their shoes.
Pete, do you have any sources for this as it's been a question recently asked of me and I have no references?
Kris

Maybe I'll drop Andy a line then. I ordered the dubbin that Paul recommended and that should be here soon. My shirt also arrived today, it looks great but it's MASSIVE!
Eddie

Kris the shirts are a one size fits all job  and were supposed to act in lieu of underpants and nightshirt too.

Perhaps you could fatten up a little over the Winter.
Kris

LOL, I'll work on that!
Mercian Pete

Paul  - I read it recently and will now try and back track to locate it for you. I'll get back to you as soon as I've found it.
Mercian Pete

Mercian Pete wrote:
I note that there are contemporary accounts of officers saying that there was no excuse for soldiers not to have a good shine on their shoes.
Pete, do you have any sources for this as it's been a question recently asked of me and I have no references?[/quote]

This is what I think I read:

"A System for the Compleat Interior Management and Economy of a Battalion of Infantry" by Captain Bennet Cuthbertson of the 40th Foot, published in 1768. P114 / Chapt XVII.

"Every soldier should be furnished with a pair of shoe brushes and a blacking ball of good ingredients, that there may be no excuse, for not having at all times, their shoes and gaiters extremely clean and highly polished."



I picked this up from the Najecki website.
Dinesy

My boots arrived from Kevin Garlick today. Had a quick stomp up and down the path outside and they felt fine. Havnt done anything to them yet, but I have also got some of the dubbin the other Paul D recommended.





Kris

In the end I worked a load of that dubbin into the leather with my fingers and then added a layer of polish on top.

Having just worn them at Avoncroft for the weekend it seemed to work, just need to re-apply it all again now to keep them protected!
Eddie

Kris
Your cap is finished.

Next up is Dinesy's.

If any other new joiner needs a cap next year tell me now please so I can work on them over the Winter.
Kris

Sweet! Thanks Eddie.
John Waller

Talking of boots; might be worth checking out Stitch & Cobble Emporium (on Facebook, I can't get the website on his card to work!). I can't vouch for their quality or accuracy, not having owned a pair, but they looked OK and at £100 for soldiers boots and £150 for top boots / hessians are considerably cheaper that other suppliers if you are on a budget.
Eddie

Eddie wrote:
Kris
Your cap is finished.

Next up is Dinesy's.

If any other new joiner needs a cap next year tell me now please so I can work on them over the Winter.


Paul Dines your cap size 59cm is now finished. Lost your email address - you need to speak with Gower about cap cover and bugle badge. Looks like I still got the job of making  tufts, oh and sorting cords. All these embellishments cost more - so don't overspend at Christmas!

Any more for anymore? Tell me this winter.
After I use up my present materials for cap making I doubt I will be making any more and then it will mean members buying commercially.
OJM

Dave might already have discussed it with you, if not, there's two for my fellows of the norse persuasion.
rear rank private

uniform

Gentlemen of the 95th:
I am experiencing some trouble with your website so please forgive me if this cut and paste effort looks somewhat off.

Since I am unfamiliar with your command structure, I am addressing this to the membership in general, although it appears from some of the messages that I have read that one of your members named “Eddie” might be the person to whom I should address this, as I am looking for some guidance with reference to your uniform.

It appears that new members obtain their uniforms from the existing membership, who prepare these goods “in-house”, as you phrase it. I understand and appreciate that. I have been a War Between the States reenactor in the US for over 20 years. My unit is what is either referred to, derisively or respectfully, depending upon the context and the speaker, as a “hard-core”, or as we prefer, “campaigner” unit. We sleep under the stars and march (long distances) in the rain and mud. We are either crazy or dedicated. Take your pick. Our uniform cloth must be obtained from our personal stock only after one becomes a member, so we are similar in that respect to you. Our purpose therein is to protect our appearance and individuality, as our cloth is vegetable dyed and very authentic. Once it fades, we look awful, just like our ancestors did. So I certainly respect your proprietary interest in your appearance, if in fact that is what is driving your policy. Thus in order for one to obtain your uniform or any part thereof, it is necessary for one to join your unit. While that is a laudable philosophy, and I would love to do so, it is unfortunately impossible for me to comply, separated as we are by a vast body of water. Therefore, it is my purpose in writing to ask if I may obtain a part of your uniform without the requirement of joining the unit. Let me explain.

Like many people, including perhaps a number of your current members, I was introduced to the 95th via the Sharpes Rifles series. That was over a decade ago. I enjoyed the series very much, being particularly impressed by the attention to detail with respect to the uniforms of the 95th. Or at least to my unpracticed eye they seemed accurate. I was much taken by the fatigue hat as portrayed in the series. Since then I have always wanted to have one. It was my desire to have one of these fatigue caps for use in camp with my Confederate unit. Such an item is of course very underrepresented in the hobby, much as the wearing of uniform parts from the Napoleonic era would have been underrepresented during the actual war. Nevertheless, it would be historically accurate for one to have a fatigue hat from the 95th in America in 1861. Put a finer point on it, it would be easy to justify having one in my case. My mother’s family name was Martin. Her people were all from the British Isles, mostly English, but with a strong representation of Welsh and also some Irish and Scots as well. So, I could weave a tale of a great grandfather or uncle passing the hat to me as I portray a soldier of the Confederacy. Again, we are sensitive to historical accuracy in my unit, so we think like that. Because it is in my blood, I have always had an affinity for Britain. I have studied at the University of Warwick. My mother’s family Bible indicates that many of her people hailed from Nottinghamshire. It would not be inaccurate to call me an Anglophile. So strong is my love of Great Britain that I am currently engaged in a four year study of the English soldier in the Great War during this centennial period. My admiration is boundless. I say all of this in hopes of convincing you that my desire for a campaign cap of the 95th is not some idle fancy. I hope I have made a case for you to deviate from the practice of only providing uniforms for your members and that I am assure you that the item that I am seeking from you will be worn with respect and admiration for the British in general and for the men of the 95th in particular.

I noticed on your website that the fatigue hat the men seemed to be wearing is not of the style which I am speaking. Undoubtedly your men wear that fatigue hat because your research substantiates it. The one I am referring to though is the one that was worn in the series and if you will please forgive my lack of knowledge on this matter, it appears to be more of a Tam O’Shanter,  Bolmoral, or Caubeen style. One can find a photo of Sean Bean wearing one if one googles “95th rifles fatigue hat” and clicks on “images”. The sides of the bonnet are fairly tall compared to many others.

In conclusion,  having taking your time with this explanation, I am now asking if you would be so kind as to allow me to engage you (whoever is the person in your unit who does such) to produce for me this fatigue hat. If you will please respond to let me know if you will do this, and how much you are asking for the work, I will be happy to prepay and will provide you with my hat size. I hasten to add that I noticed that very recently “Eddie” told another requester that he may be ceasing to produce these items and that they would have to be purchased commercially. Part of me thrill, and certainly the honor, of having one of these hats produced by your unit will necessarily be sacrificed if I must purchase one commercially, but if that is the state of affairs, than there’s nothing for it. In which case, I would ask you to please direct me to someone operating on the Internet who will make the best one of these for me.

I apologize for the length of this post, but hope that I have made my intent and motivation clear. As a fellow reenactor I am certain that your membership takes  portraying to the unschooled modern world the enduring nobility of the 95th rifles very seriously, and in that regard we are kindred spirits. The men in my unit are very closely knit, and very dedicated to portraying as accurately as possible, the heroes and patriots who were our ancestors in the unit we represent.

Thanking you for your attention and consideration, and looking forward to hearing from you with eagerness, I am

Your obedient servant,

J. R. Ungaro, III
10th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry
Manigault’s Brigade
Army of Tennessee, CSA
Eddie

Hello
I only produce the Regimental caps - the 1812 pattern Infantry cap aka 'Belgic shako' not the undress cap you allude to.  The undress cap is produced for members  by our Serjeant who also makes every scrap of uniform we wear. I know at the moment he has a tremendous amount of work on his hands tailoring for 4 or 5 new recruits in readiness for next season.
Hopefully he will reply to you - I don't know what his take will be on producing a cap for someone outside 2/95th - personally I would not do it as I will only make kit for members and that I do more as a favour than to make money.
rear rank private

uniform

Thank you for the reply. I understand how that works.

If I have no luck with you all, depending on if your sergeant replies, can you tell me the proper name for that style of cap I am asking about so I can continue my quest, and perhaps where I might find a commercial version?

Thank you and Merry Christmas.
Eddie

Rear Rank
Just re reading your post - you say you are looking for the Tam o shanter style cap - and you have noticed we don't wear that type ?
I suggest you try ebay UK as that type of cap regularly comes up for sale



We refer to them as Forage or undress caps. The folding half moon type we adopted because it was commonly used in the infantry and the Tam of shanter style is more often attributed to cavalry and is similar to their 'watering cap' ( hopefully Ben will correct me ) but I think I am right in saying the actual style of the 95th Forage cap is unknown.

Here is an image from our reference section slightly post period showing several types of cap worn :



I think you can wear what you want in your situation - it would be pushing it a bit in any case for a confederate soldier to be wearing a cloth cap which was 50 years old?
rear rank private

uniform

That is good information. Thank you. I had seen that on eBay but did not know whether it was accurate. But apparently this undress hat that appears in the Sharpes series is an invention/best guess of "Hollywood" as it were, to begin with, so what is "accurate" in the first place is unknown.

Good point regarding the 50 year old cloth. That concept had eluded me. I know, it was kept in a zip lock bag with some moth balls in grandfather's attic. Hmm, maybe not. I will have to work on that one.

Thank you again. If you ever hear of a good source for these please let me know.
OJM

Although still a bit far fetched, wouldn't it be slightly more plausible with a Crimean War pattern forage cap? Considering connections with Canada and continual emigration from the UK throughout the 1800s?

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsw...om/~tompkins/photos/ggndadopt.jpg
rear rank private

uniform

It  would be more plausible, but then I do like the style of the Napoleonic better. One must not lose sight of the sartorial aspect to this quest.
Ben Townsend

Here's my take on this in brief.
1. The style of cap the gentleman is after is taken from the TV show Sharpe. The design drawings for the art department on Sharpe were drawn by one of the Mollo brothers. His drawings for costume show three caps: the boonet de polce, wedge, and this one. The director chose this one.

2. The first two models of cap are very well sourced to our period for infantry. The last, almost not at all. At best, something like this may have arrived post 1813 with the unsuccessful attempts to impose a single regulated forage cap. (I except highland corps from this generalisation).

3. The good news is that something similar to this akin to a hummel bonnet became infantry forage cap in the 1820s and then developed throughout the C19th in a well defined and regulated manner. So the style of some of these later caps would fit the backstory.

4. The bad news is that re-enactors and illustrators copied Sharpe, and this cap is now produced in a bastardised form that is a million miles removed from a humble bonnet or the cap in Bankfield museum, which is variously dated 1820-55. The modern form is of wool cloth or felted wool cloth, whereas the originals were knitted wool formed on a block.

5. My recommendation for accuracy would be to go to someone like Sally Pointer to create a knitted or felted cap of your choice. She does both stock and commission.

http://sallypointer.com/shop/index.php?cPath=3_33

6. Regarding Eddie's comments about 2/95th forage caps, he is completely correct. The shape is completely unknown. The 1800 regs spec the colour, and 'lace'. We have cavalierly disregarded this colour in favour of a later period reference to green caps that is open to discussion. An equally good case could be made for a black cap. On such partial information are sandcastles built. On the plus side, the form of the group's cap is well grounded in iconography, and the model is produced from the NH cap at Winchester.

7. Just to be clear, the re-enactors model of 'porkpie' forage cap in cloth rather than knitted form has no historical basis whatever as far as I know.
rear rank private

uniform

Thank you. My own research was beginning to lead me to the conclusion that there was not a definitive style at that point in history. And one must always be skeptical the moment the entertainment industry becomes involved. However, your insight has been invaluable.  And thank you very much for the web address.

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